This is not something new or willy nilly, but it is a
product of a choice made over 15 years ago as a
fairly young girl.
I have always grieved over animals being mistreated,
but moreover, I've always found the idea that one
must die for me to satisfy my palate too much to
personally tolerate for myself.
People say to me, "Oh, I could never give up
meat. I love it too much."
I believe if most had to raise and care for
the animals they consume: feeding them and slaughtering them
once the time came, that would create a change.
The real statement is that, "As long as I
do not have to see the animal, kill it
or know anything about its history, I
love meat too much to give up."
But I digress. . .
If people are going to continue as
meat eaters, and I do believe for many reasons, this
likely the only way the world can go 'round,
they should make efforts
to visit the places the meat comes from,
see the animals are treated well and see
that the slaughter process is as humane
Few do this, and fewer still will take the
next step and raise their meals (livestock)
So many so-called meat eaters shriek
in horror at the concept of raising a
pig, steer, goat, chicken, rabbit or
lamb themselves to eat.
I cannot tell you how many
animal lovers that eat factory
farmed cows, chickens and pigs
will give me a look of utter disgust
when I suggest maybe, if they have
the room, they ought tackle to food
process on their own.
Somehow they, in their ignorant minds,
find this unsanitary and inhumane.
Instead, they prefer:
This above, they tell me, without realizing it,
is the way meat should be raised.
You see, on factory farms and in the supermarket,
cattle do not exist - they are steak and burger.
Only when animals are known, petted and cared for, seen alive do they
have to be faced with what they are eating. They are then
NOT steak or bacon or burger .
So the above is normal, humane and accepted.
In the American mind, the family farm setting makes animals
too alive, and in fact, that is true. They are more alive, aren't
There is aorganization, The Gentle Barn, and
they take in abused farm animals. On their facebook page
I recently found a comment that read, " kill what you
eat movement..that dreadful trend." I imagine
that woman, like most with that mind set, eats meat
or animal products from factory farming and feel all the more
righteous for it.
Idealism is not something I can embrace too often.
When it comes to vegetarianism, I do not have any hope
that suddenly my family and friends will feel about it as
I do. That is not realistic, but I do believe many people
can be shown that the way they are eating is not humane
and that they have a realistic alternative.
Of course, you will have those that do not care, those that
say it is too time consuming, too expensive and never look
further into it. In a small way, all change is initially said to
be too hard, that it will take too long and cost too much.
Think back on the pre Civil War era and the arguments about
why slavery could not be abolished. Consider the costs of
improving the lives of human beings in Poverty stricken
India and Africa. The hope that people will consider and
follow a significantly kinder path than the one they have been walking
is not idealism or if it is, we are lost already
The purpose to this blog, as off track as it became, was
to show how hard these steps are, even for me, a person
quite aware of the truth of Big AG. farming, a person very
aware of the kinder route.
Tuesday we make a 4.5 hour drive to pick up our first Dual
purpose Dexter heifer, Anya.
Anya is bred for a summer calf, and if the calf is a bull - in time -
he will be the first steer we will raise for food.
A huge part of me is very afraid of all of this. All cattle, pigs, poultry,
goats and sheep are just that to me. They aren't packaged meat in
my mind, but I will not sit by with my idealistic thoughts and allow
my family to consume factory livestock at the expense of my ideals.
So as hard as this will be for me, I assure you, when the time comes,
I will do the right thing and assure that what my family eats -
when at all possible - comes from a quality existence of pasture,
mountains, clean water, kindness and the utmost care -
Until such a time as may never come and animals need not be
raised for food, I will absolutely push the idea of local, humane
farming, that you go out and meet the animals that will become
your family's meal and encourage people to educate themselves
on where all of their food comes from.